Heikki Kovalainen hailed Lotus's pace at the Japanese Grand Prix as "amazing" after the team scored its best result to date.
Kovalainen finished in 12th position, nearly two laps down, with team-mate Jarno Trulli in 13th place. The Finn, whose result strengthens Lotus's 10th position in the championship, was thrilled with the team's performance.
"It was a wicked race, really absolutely fantastic for me, Jarno and the whole team," said Kovalainen. "We decided to start with the soft tire, which was a little bit of a gamble, and then stayed out during the safety car.
"The target was to build up enough of a gap to allow me to pit without losing places to the guys behind and we did that, though it was very close with Jarno when I came out. On the harder tire, the car just felt brilliant – I had a huge amount of grip from the second set and it was a lot of fun to push for the rest of the race.
"Our pace was amazing – we were only lapped once and at this kind of circuit, where we needed to perform, we could not have done any more. An amazing day for the whole team, and now we're another big step closer to that tenth place, which is obviously the main aim of the whole season."
Trulli was also elated with his day after his best result of the season.
"What a great day for the whole team; just fantastic," he said. "I'm really pleased for everyone with the result, and congratulations to Heikki as well on a great race. I had a really good start and came in under the safety car to switch to the primes.
"I came out behind [Sakon] Yamamoto and immediately attacked him – I got past him pretty quick and then went after Heikki. We both had a strong run to the end, and even though I had another hydraulics issue in the last couple of laps, I managed to get the car home which was obviously the main objective."